The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association Of Nigeria (MACBAN) has denied involvement in the heinous massacre of people in Katsina – Ala LGA of Benue State during the weekend.
Its secretary, Ibrahim Galma, told our correspondent by telephone that though they heard about the killings going on in Katsina-Ala villages over the weekend, the association does not know the people behind the killings or their collaborators.
Galma said at present, there were no Fulani in Katsina-Ala, Kwande, Ukum and other LGAs around that axis of the state.
He added that as an association, they heard of the incident like every other person and that they also heard that some Fulani had been killed. He said the crisis was ongoing around Benue/ Taraba border.
“There are crises ongoing there and many Fulani are affected. I heard that a large number of people are even taken away by suspected bandits. I won’t be able to tell the real stories but security agencies and Taraba State government are in the best position to do so.
“There are issues there being perpetrated by bandits and to the best of my knowledge, there are no Fulani there. We can’t tell whether the Fulani are involved in what is happening in that boundary area. We cannot account for them because they are not from our state,” Galma said.
An audio circulated on WhatsApp purportedly leaked a conversation between Azonto, the militiaman alleged to have taken over from Gana and an alleged Fulani man identified as Dauda.
The audio, which could not be immediately verified, ‘established’ a link between the local militia and Fulani herders as Dauda was heard admonishing the said Azonto to ensure that no Fulani man should be killed or his cow cut whenever there were clashes between herders and farmers in his (Azonto) controlled turf.
Azonto on his part gave assurances that he would maintain the relationship his late boss, Gana, had with Dauda’s people.
The two spoke in Tiv language for 11 minutes and 46 seconds discussing banditry in the area.